Successful social media is an essential part of today’s author platform. But it seems like every writer is worried that social media success is actually a failure in disguise.
The million-dollar-question, I hear over and over, is: “But does social media actually sell more books?”
Translation: “Show me the Money!”
Because success isn’t always obvious. And it takes time.
Time is money.
Time is better spent writing.
And most people are piss-poor time managers. So everyone is getting burnt out and tired out of the endless chore of social media. And you still aren’t seeing any goddamn book sales!
Even if you had a sale last thursday…was it really from social media? And does the .44 cent net profit actually make up for the 9.5 hours you spent on social media last week?
Nobody gives up on it, though.
You know your book is an insignificant speck, floating in a sea of millions. And, although nobody can guarantee success with social media, we all somehow know failure is a guarantee without it.
So everyone is caught in this conundrum.
Being an “author platform specialist”, I am supposed to have all the answers and secrets to unlocking success. But the only secret I have is: I don’t have all the answers everyone wants me to have!
The truth is, I know far more ways to market and promote than I as an individual will ever have time to do. Like everyone else I just do my best to keep up with the little things that I
think hope will have the most impact.
I also pay attention to marketing issues and trends. I educate myself, and I observe what other people are doing. Even to my watchful eyes, successes are not always obvious.
There is one success that is a failure in disguise. But it isn’t the one you think.
When people follow you on social media, and they actually pay attention to what you say–this seems like a success. And it is. It’s a “social success”.
Authors, however, aren’t just trying to be socially successful, authors also want marketing success. Many authors are afraid of somehow accidentally(really?!) becoming a spambot: buymybookbuymybookbuymybook. (Seriously, how do you do that by accident?)
Is the solution to jump to the other end of the stick and never mention your book at all?
That strategy is less likely to get you muted, but it’s just as much a failure if your book isn’t noticed because you never mention it, as it is to not have it noticed because people are ignoring you.
I have literally followed people, conversed with them, and thought of them as pretty close acquaintances within social media circles–and I never knew that they had a published book!
When you have social success you can use it to enable your marketing success. But if you never actually use it, it won’t do you a lick of good. It’s kind of like picking lottery numbers every week and never buying a ticket.
When people actually care and would love to support you by reading your book, you need to let them know about it!
Don’t be afraid to use your powers of social media for personal gain.
Just aim for balance. Keep it casual, conversational, “Oh by the way…” You know what to do! You don’t need any special instruction on how to get be social. You won’t suddenly become a nefarious villain because you have something to promote. That only happens when people try to take short cuts, or they want to get get get without giving anything in return.
But that isn’t you. Right?
Stop being afraid of success, and stop making excuses.
Just get out there.
And don’t forget to plug your book.